By J.C. McMurphy
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
All of Dean’s army buddies think he’s tough. But he’s just a young man with a strong moral code. From his first week in the service, things never quite seem to go right, starting with a close encounter with some rough characters on the military base.
Dean thought joining the army would be a great way to start planning for his future. Good pay, great benefits, and money for college as soon as he got out.
Between doubts about his career path and struggling to keep his personal life and his military life separate, sometimes he feels like he’s made a big mistake.
When he meets a handsome, athletic surfer named Bryan, he starts to realize that sometimes in life, when you don’t know what to do next, you just need to ride the wave and see where it takes you.
Rogue Wave is a well-written and evenly paced read, and it serves up a lot of life’s lessons. The storyline is easy to follow and realistic, and the flow is effortless.
Dean and Bryan are both solid, mature, and likeable characters, and the reader is treated to a sweet, naturally evolving relationship. There is little – actually none! – unnecessary angst or pettiness between the two, which is definitely a refreshing angle. Dean is challenged with deciding if the Army is really for him, even though he enlisted to take advantage of the GI Bill, because it’s unfulfilling and he’s not really sure he could fight a battle if called upon. That’s not to say he wouldn’t fight one-on-one, since he’s compelled to stand up for others, earning the nickname “Iceman” because he doesn’t back down.
This book has several secondary characters deserving of their own story, which could lead to an enjoyable series of shorter word-count stories: Teresa “Tandy”, Conner and Mandi, Jimmy, Mason, and even Powell. Teresa, Dean’s bunkmates, and even the antagonist Powell, have well-developed personalities and are captured in a real-life type of way. Their side stories add layers to the book as a whole.
The ending is short and sweet. It’s not the typically defined HEA, and the reader is charged with using his imagination to envision how the future looks for Dean and Bryan.
Original review posted on Amazon and Goodreads on January 14, 2017.